Chicano Students rally to almond workers’ cause
The nation’s largest Chicano student group brought some 400 students protestors on March 21,2008. to the Sacramento plant in support of the Blue Diamond workers’ long fight to join the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
Since its founding in 1969, Mecha, the Chicano student organization, has supported workers’ organizing as an essential part of its program of community empowerment.
More than one-third of the workers at Blue Diamond’s Sacramento plant—the largest almond processing plant in the world—are Latino/a. After the workers began organizing in September 2004, the company mounted an aggressive anti-union campaign that landed it in trouble with the law. The National Labor Relations Board found Blue Diamond guilty of 20 labor law violations, but the company refused to admit wrongdoing. The workers have been building support in Sacramento, around the country and around the world for their right to decide for themselves whether or not they want a union in an atmosphere free of firings, threats and harassment.
Like the UFW in the 60’s, the Blue Diamond workers joining the ILWU know they cannot stand up to the company alone. Mecha ( Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) helped to build a web of solidarity actions from Sacramento around the nation and the world.
For more information: Marcy Rein, ILWU Organizing Dept., 510-847-4443